Hello! It’s me again, your Edmonton lovin’, wanna-be-photographer pal, Laura! If you’re an Explore Edmonton OG, you may have seen my blog post about my favourite go-to photo spots in the city. Well I’m back to share a few more, with the hopes you will pick up your camera (or highly advanced, out-of-this-world-mega-pixeled smart phone), get off the beaten path and discover some hidden gems of your own.
Crawford Block Mural
Take your instagram game up a notch by posting a photo of the Crawford Block Mural. This brand spankin' new piece of street art was created by world famous artist Okuda San Miguel, whose works can be seen in the streets and galleries of India, Mali, Mozambique, the United States, Japan, Chile, Brazil, Peru, South Africa, Mexico, and more. To get a closer look at the rad geometric shapes and organic forms, grab a seat on El Cortez's outdoor patio and sip on a tasty cocktail while you enjoy the view.
7696 Jasper Ave
Kinnaird Park is rad because it’s one of few spots north of the river where you can still snag a photo of the Edmonton skyline. Behind the lookout point is a huge grassy area which serves as a perfect spot to sunbathe in the summer, set up a picnic, or toss the ol’ frisbee around. Plus, hardly anyone is ever there, so it feels like you have the place to yourself! The park has a great trail system and I recommend trekking East towards the Highlands hiking trail before popping back up and checking out the mansions on Ada Boulevard.
7507 Borden Park Rd
UFO? Research station? Museum? Nah, just the most beautiful and extravagant bathroom I’ve ever seen! Borden Park is super cool because they have tons of public art pieces, and this cylindrical pavilion fits right in. The reflective triangular panels almost camouflage the building in the daytime, but if you come after the sun goes down, it can’t be missed as it glows from within. Don’t forget to pack your swim trunks if you’re here in the summer, and cool down after a day of exploration at the brand new natural swimming pool.
Speaking of public art, Borden Park’s ‘Vaulted Willow’ is an absolute stunner. Commissioned by The Edmonton Arts Council in 2014 and created by MARC FORNES/THEVERYMANY, the project’s aim is to “resolve and delineate structure, skin, and ornamentation into a single unified system." I’m no architect or art school graduate, but I like everything about it: the shape, texture, and colours. Does the structure remind anyone else of Sully from Monsters Inc? Oh just me? Ok cool.
Wolf Willow Stairs
12 Wolf Willow Point
I’m a big fan of running stairs, but I’m even a bigger fan of running stairs when there’s a killer view involved, and that’s exactly what you’ll find at the Wolf Willow Stairs. You can access the stairs from Westridge Park or from the Fort Edmonton Park footbridge. If you choose the latter, be prepared to sweat it out as you’ll need to hike up 200 stairs to get to this vantage point. As Drake once said, started from the bottom now we’re here. And dang, it’s worth it. Keep your eyes peeled for local hotshots such as Global News Weather Specialist, Mike Sobel and Vice President of Hockey Operations for the Edmonton Oilers, Craig MacTavish who can often be found crushing these stairs.
Just look up
Did you know that Edmonton is North America’s northermost city with a population over one million? This means a couple things to me: long bright days in the summer, and long dark nights in the winter. No complaints about winter from my end though. Because of our northern positioning, we are lucky to experience one of the most magnificent shows on earth: the Northern Lights. While you’re able to see them right in the city, it’s best to head to a field where there is minimal light pollution. Hot tip: check out AuroraWatch and sign up to receive e-mail alerts when aurora may be visible!
In my opinion, Glenora is one of Edmonton’s most lavish neighbourhoods. I mean, just look at that fountain! Am I in Paris? If you’re in the area, be sure to check out Alexander Circle where you’ll find this grand fountain surrounded by historic homes. Take some time to relax on one of the surrounding benches. I personally love to people watch and daydream about the day that I will be able to save up enough to buy one of these houses. A girl can dream!
Belgravia Dog Park
Based on the name of this location, you’re probably excited to see a photo littered with cute dogs. Sorry to disappoint. While I am Edmonton’s #1 dog fan, the lookout spot here is what really knocks me off my feet because it provides unreal views of the Equine Centre (you can hear the horses neighing!), the North Saskatchewan River, Fox Drive, Talus Dome, and the Edmonton Valley Zoo. If you time your visit right, you’ll be able to catch a spectacular sunset with the west facing view.
Former Royal Alberta Museum Grounds
I know there’s crazy hype around the new Royal Alberta Museum opening up (as there should be), but don’t forget about the old site! The building alone was loved dearly by many, including myself, and the surrounding grounds are just as wonderful. While the Government House commands the attention of most people, I prefer the Jeongja! This traditional Korean pavilion, built as a place where people and nature can unite, was gifted to Alberta from the Gangwon Province in Korea in commemoration of Alberta’s centennial and the 30th anniversary of the Alberta-Gangwon twinning relationship to foster agricultural cooperation. Fun fact: the Jeongja is built entirely of wood and stone without nails or screws!